Seven ghost commissioners at ENNIA collected well over 5.5 million dollars

   Seven ghost commissioners at ENNIA  collected well over 5.5 million dollars

The condo of former Central Bank President Emsley Tromp and his son Evan is situated in one of the two towers on Brickell Key Drive, Miami.

PHILIPSBURG--Evan Tromp (40) the son of former President of the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) Emsley Tromp (63), received a total of NAf. 2,544,977 (US $1,413,876) from ENNIA Holding and ENNIA Investments. Wrongly, according to the September 12 verdict in ENNIA’s appeal against shareholder Parman International, former director Hushang Ansary and other directors and supervisory directors.

Emsley Tromp managed the Central Bank from 1991 to 2017. His son Evan received the payments from ENNIA in the period 2010-2017. Evan was paid more than US $120,000 a year even though he had never completed an application procedure or fulfilled a supervisory role.

Evan Tromp officially lives in Miami, in a luxury condo tower on Brickell Key, a man-made triangular island located south of downtown Miami and the Miami River. The waterfront condo is owned by his father, who purchased the unit in the condo tower – the median listing Brickell Key home price per square foot was $718 in July 2023 – while he was president of the Central Bank. Emsley Tromp is also registered at the address.

The condo on Brickell Drive Road is also the business address of Operational and Financial Advisory, LLC. This company was founded in 2009 and, according to data from commercial registries, was led by Evan Tromp until the company’s dissolution in 2021.

However, the handling of the appeal in the ENNIA case shows that Evan worked at NIB Bank in 2010, and in 2015 he studied in Florida for his master’s degree in business administration. He continued to receive payments from ENNIA every year until 2017, the year his father resigned as president of the Central Bank.

On November 29, 2021, the Common Court of Justice in the Dutch Caribbean granted ENNIA’s claims up to an amount of NAf. 1 billion ($555,555,556). Shortly before, on October 1, Florida saw the dissolution of Operational and Financial Advisory, LLC. The company effectively has no longer existed since December 31, 2021.

Evan Tromp is one of seven people who, as stated in the September 12, 2023, appeal ruling, “are classified as ‘Supervisory Director’ in the Human Resources Department of ENNIA – on behalf of Van Doorn or Beaujon.”

It is established that Tromp was not a commissioner, the court concluded. “E-mail correspondence from 2013 shows that Andraous [former ENNIA director Abdallah Andraous – Ed.] instructed that Tromp should be provided with an office, car and apartment in Aruba and that Palm [former statutory director of ENNIA Holding] wonders to whom Tromp reports.”

Palm and Andraous did not explain what work Tromp performed, the ruling states.

“Ansary stated at the hearing about Tromp that he knew that Tromp worked for one of the companies on the islands and that he likes to give young people opportunities. Ansary did not explain what work Tromp carried out in the context of that opportunity. Annual amounts between (more than) NAf. 214,000 and NAf. 246,000 were paid to Tromp in the period 2010-April 2017. Van Doorn [Gijdbert van Doorn, former Chief Executive Officer of ENNIA] provided the amount of this compensation in an instruction to the administration in 2010.”

The Court considered as follows: The board of a legal entity is, among other things, responsible for ensuring that proper payroll administration is maintained. When persons are placed on the payroll of a company stating a position that they do not fulfil and without fulfilling any other recognisable position in the company, there is no question of proper administration. In the present case, this happened over many years and a total of more than NAf. 10 million – on average approximately NAf. 1 million per year – was paid.

“This shortcoming is therefore so serious that it constitutes improper performance of the board’s duties,” the Court stated. “The (collective) management of ENNIA Holding and ENNIA Investments that permitted the payments under the aforementioned circumstances, this in principle constitutes a serious reproach.”

In addition to Evan Tromp, listed as ghost employees are: Clarence Derby, Kelly Clifford, Aghili Cyrus, Elizabeth Leos, Chris Archie and Caspian Tavalli. “These individuals have not gone through any application process. The Human Resources Department generally only received instructions to place the relevant person on the payroll, together with the amount to be paid periodically,” the verdict states.

On July 7, 2022, Clarence Derby, at the time a member of the Supervisory Board of Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company PJIAE, responded to the indictment in the ENNIA case. He responded to an article published in The Daily Herald on the Integrity Chamber's advice on integrity at PJIA airport, saying: “All of the monies that I have received have been rightfully earned, and none of them have been received for any ‘services to Ansary.’ I want to make that very clear, because these are very serious allegations to speak of, much less to print.”

The September 12 verdict lists Derby as the person who received the highest amount from ENNIA without a contract or services rendered. Between 2008 and 2018, NAf. 3,845,575 ($2,136,430.56) was credited to Derby bank accounts.

The compensation to Derby was paid under the heading “commissioner”, the verdict states. “It is certain that Derby was also not a commissioner. ENNIA c.s. has fulfilled its obligation to be a 'ghost employee'. Appellants' dispute is insufficient.”

It is not in dispute that Kelly Clifford, Aghili Cyrus, Elizabeth Leos, Chris Archie and Caspian Tavalli were Ansary’s personal assistants. It is also not disputed that they do not have an (employment) contract with any ENNIA c.s. company. The payroll tax cards submitted by ENNIA et al show, as ENNIA et al state, that the position listed as “commissioner” is stated on them. It has been established that these persons were not supervisory directors of a company in the ENNIA group.

Former ENNIA directors Palm and Andraous have defended that they did not hire any of the persons discussed, that ENNIA et al is a large company with approximately 240 employees with a Human Resources manager and only if there is something serious in the area of personnel is a signal sent to the board.

Van Doorn and Ansary have also argued that a director does not need to know what work they perform in ENNIA et al. and that a director should only intervene if there are signals that something is wrong. There were no such signals and therefore no serious blame can be placed on them, they argue.

The court concluded that Ansary knew that his personal assistants were paid by ENNIA Holding or ENNIA Investments without good reason. However, he has done nothing to prevent or end this. “He is seriously blamed for all those payments,” the court stated. “ENNIA et al. have not stated any facts or circumstances that imply that Ansary also knew or should have known that Tromp and Derby did not perform any work for ENNIA et al. Ansary is not blamed for the payments to them.”

However, according to the presented email correspondence, former CEOs Palm and Andraous were aware in 2013 that Tromp was given an office and apartment in Aruba. “For the conclusion that they had signals that Tromp did not perform work for ENNIA et al., sufficient facts and circumstances are lacking,” the court concludes, adding: “The same applies to Derby.”

The court answered in the negative the question whether Nina Ansary is liable as a commissioner. “There are no facts and circumstances to be stated by ENNIA et al. that could provide grounds for the opinion that Nina Ansary had received signals that should have prompted her to take action or that she should have taken action independently on this point in the context of her supervisory task,” the court concluded.

The damage suffered by ENNIA as a result of payments to ghost employees must be compensated, the court ruled on Monday. Ansary and Doorn are both held jointly and severally liable.

The court estimated the amount to be paid by Ansary to ENNIA Investments at NAf. 267,627.36 (Tavalli NAf. 127,443.68 and Archie NAf. 140,183.68) and the amount to be paid to ENNIA Holding at NAf. 634,351.26 (Cyrus NAf. 233,810.92, Leos NAf. 165,220.28, Clifford NAf. 235,320.06).

The court estimated the amount to be paid by Van Doorn to ENNIA Holding at the amount of NAf. 246,437.83 paid to Tromp in 2010. This means that those responsible for the payments that Tromp received in 2011-2017 are yet to be held accountable.

The Daily Herald

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